Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
This past summer, Andrei Kirilenko signed a two-year deal worth just over $20million. The second year of that deal is a player option, which leaves AK with a decision to make this summer.
Does AK decline that $10million-plus option? I doubt it, however it remains a possibility. Because Kirilenko has had such a solid year, he might decline the option and look for a longer deal that perhaps pays him $6-7million for the next three to four years. I don't expect him to decline the option, but I kind of hope he does. If he was to get that longer deal with the Wolves, that would open up cap space to ensure the Wolves could resign both Budinger & Pekovic.
We still haven't seen Ricky Rubio, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Love & Nikola Pekovic on the floor together for more than a few minutes this season. If Minnesota can keep that core together for the foreseeable future and add a guy like Courtney Lee or a slightly above 'true' shooting guard, this instantly becomes a playoff squad and one that could find themselves advancing past the first round in a highly-competitive Western Conference.
Regardless of whether he declines his option or accepts it, there's very little doubt in my mind that he'll be in a Timberwolves uniform come 2013-14.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
The Minnesota Timberwolves were very quiet throughout Thursday's Trade Deadline and that resulted in a second straight Deadline without a deal. Last year the Wolves were in talks that went to the Deadline that would've landed them Jamal Crawford, sent Michael Beasley to the Lakers and Steve Blake to Portland, that fell through and the Wolves didn't make a move.
The Wolves were still in the playoff hunt at last season's Trade Deadline. This season, the Wolves' playoff hopes are pretty much deceased.
The Wolves would've made a deal if it would've made them better right away and also long-term, obviously Kahn & Adelman weren't presented with any offers that would've landed them that fit that description.
The Wolves are currently 7.5 games out of the eighth and final seed in the West and they aren't playing for a run at the postseason these last 31 games.
You've got to remember that we haven't seen this squad at full strength yet. Chase Budinger & Kevin Love will hopefully be back in another month and can play the last 15-20 games. Ricky Rubio & Kevin Love have played less than 30 minutes together this season!
The Wolves may have been quiet during the Deadline, but I can guarantee they'll be making headlines this summer. They've got two draft picks, that they'll likely trade (like they did last year with the 18th pick and Chase Budinger). They have decisions to make with free agents Nikola Pekovic & Chase Budinger. Brandon Roy's contract option won't be picked up, Greg Stiemsma's option might be declined and the Wolves could still pursue trades for guys like Derrick Williams, Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea. I will say, if Minnesota doesn't have a shooting guard on the roster that's over 6'4" and can hit outside shots consistently (not named Alexey Shved) I just may go NUTS! The need for a shooting guard has been a glaring need for the past few seasons, but David Kahn continues to show his incompetence. Let's pray Taylor doesn't renew his contract this offseason!
I can admit that I was hoping for some kind of move earlier today (just because I love the frenzy that is the NBA Trade Deadline), but now, 6.5 hours after the Deadline buzzer, I'll admit I'm happy the Wolves are 'standing pat' and I'm very excited to see Chase & Kevin back on the floor, sometime next month.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
UPDATE (2:15pmCT): It was confirmed a short while ago (by multiple TWolves sources--@TWolvesPR, Darren Wolfson, Ray Richardson, Jerry Zgoda, Joan Niesen, etc.) that the Wolves have NOT made a trade.
No surprise considering how quiet it was today from the Wolves.
Being a fan of the Trade Deadline, every year, I can say I'm a bit shocked/disappointed that the biggest name that moved today was J.J. Redick! I'm also a little upset about one trade in particular. It was a deal that sent Anthony Morrow from Atlanta to Dallas for Dahntay Jones. Morrow is someone I would've loved to have on the team and I feel like we could've made a better offer to Danny Ferry and the Hawks. Maybe Brandon Roy's contract and a second round pick? Morrow is a great shooter and even as a 'rental' could've really helped this squad.
Nonetheless, I'm happy the Wolves didn't make a deal for the sake of making a deal. They'll now wait for Budinger & Love to get back in the mix and hope for a favorable ending to an altogether disappointing season.
The Wolves take on the Thunder tomorrow night in OKC (the Thunder did trade Maynor to the Blazers for a pick and then sent a pick to the Knicks for Ronnie Brewer in today's trade deadline). Stay tuned for the preview of that! Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
UPDATE (2/21/13 @12:25amCT): From Darren Wolfson...
UPDATE (2/21/13 @12:05amCT): With the deadline less than two hours away, there's no doubting that we'll see some deals go down, however any Wolves trade remains pretty unlikely. I woke up this morning at 7:30 and have been following along on Twitter (literally) all day and I haven't heard even a grumble from anything Wolves-related. Beyond of course, that it remains unlikely they make any trades.
My opinion on not being active? Good and bad. If the Wolves could find a trade that makes them better long-term and isn't simply a salary dump, DO IT! If Minnesota has a chance to acquire a bigger two-guard on the cheap...DO IT!
I love the NBA Trade Deadline, but it's been extremely quiet this season. You can bet there will be a frenzy of activity in the final hour, however. Also remember that after the 2pmCT deadline, we'll still get news about different deals (as every team seems to wait until the last possible second to file the paperwork with the League office).
UPDATE (2/21/13 @11:30amCT): Via RealGM...
UPDATE (2/21/13 @10:40amCT): Here's an interesting trade scenario involving the Spurs, Magic & Wolves via SuperStatsDave...
If you don't want to click on the link, the trade sends Stephen Jackson and Kawhi Leonard from SA to Minnesota. The Spurs get J.J. Redick from Orlando & Luke Ridnour from Minny, while Orlando would get Derrick Williams. I personally like the trade, but I'm unsure about how the other two teams would feel. I'd say some picks would have to be exchanged as well.
UPDATE (2/21/13 @10:21amCT): From Darren Wolfson via Twitter about a potential J.J. Redick to Minnesota scenario...
It's now just after 10:00amCT on Thursday, February 21st and the Trade Deadline is (roughly) just four hours away.
From everything I've been hearing from members of the national and local media/analysts, the Minnesota Timberwolves making a deal before 2pmCT (the deadline) is pretty unlikely. However, with David Kahn at the helm and looking to make a move that (he hopes) solidifies his role as GM--and thus potentially lands him an extension this summer--a deal is not out of the question.
We'll be updating this post for the next four hours with any and every TWolves bit of information I can find! Stay tuned and thanks for reading HOWL!
There have been numerous reports for the past few weeks that have told us David Kahn is VERY active working the phones as we near the Trade Deadline. Today we'll be going through some players whose names have turned up in the rumor mill--both Minnesota players and potential trade targets.
According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, the Wolves have four players currently being offered in trades: Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea, Brandon Roy and Derrick Williams. Those are the four that they're offering up, but of course if another team makes a great offer for a player like Kirilenko or Pekovic (that they couldn't turn down) it remains a possibility.
Here's a list of the player the Wolves have rumored interest in...
The players with stars next to their names are players who have been linked to the Wolves trade rumors on numerous occasions.
Beyond Timofey Mozgov, the majority of Minnesota's targets are for an upgrade to their starting shooting guard position. A player with more size and the ability to guard some of the bigger wings in the League.
Courtney Lee played for Rick Adelman in Houston and remains a big target, however his lengthy contract that he signed with Boston this offseason is a big negative for any rumored trade. Gerald Henderson is being offered to teams willing to give up a first round pick in return. The Bulls are looking to dump Hamilton so they can be below the tax threshold this season and won't have to pay. Kahn has called Dallas regarding Mayo, but according to Wolfson, those attempts have been rebuffed. News broke last night that the Wolves had offered Brandon Roy and a first round pick to the Denver Nuggets for Mozgov--which Denver turned down. He'll be a restricted free agent this summer and remains a big target for Minnesota. It's no secret that Gordon doesn't want to be in New Orleans, but a trade to Minnesota is highly unlikely. There's a better chance he'll be moved this summer. The Wolves & Knicks have been linked due to the Knicks' interest in Luke Ridnour. The Wolves are very interested in Shumpert, but probably don't have enough pieces to coax the Knicks into a trade and if they trade for Brewer it's not with long-term thinking as he'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Afflalo & Redick out of Orlando remain long shots. Afflalo makes $7.5million a year for the next three years (until 2015-16) and the Wolves have said they don't want to take on long-term money. Redick is garnering A LOT of interest around the League, but he'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer that'll likely garner a $7-8million a year contract. The Sixers have thrown out the possibility that they could move Turner, but it remains likely he stays in Philly through this season. He could step right in and pair with Rubio in the backcourt and hopefully with the help of a veteran like Kirilenko, Evan could become a consistent performer.
Jared Dudley (like Redick) is someone that multiple teams have interest in, he's a big wing that can play the two & three and has turned himself into a good player during his time in Phoenix. He'd fill a need with his size, defense and shot making. Shannon Brown, Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, DeMar DeRozan & Terrence Ross all remain very longshots. Kahn is very interested in Gordon Hayward, but it's doubtful that Utah would be interested in moving one of their young centerpieces. Alec Burks is an intriguing prospect, however Utah has assured him he won't be moved, the right deal could change that thinking, but it sounds as though they're asking a bit too much for him. Raja Bell hasn't played a single game this season as he's been exiled by the Jazz and refuses any type of buyout. If the Wolves traded for him he wouldn't suit up for them (ever) and would instead be a move to dump salary to ensure they could resign both Budinger & Pekovic this summer. The Wizards are very interested in moving Crawford and it sounds as though there's a very good chance he'll have a change of address, if not by Thursday, then this summer. He's not a great defender, but he's the kind of shooter the Wolves covet. Unfortunately he's got a J.R. Smith kind of shot selection, which can be QUITE maddening for coaches & fans alike.
I'm sure there are plenty more players out there that the Minnesota would love to have in a Timberwolves uniform. There's still 26+ hours until the Deadline and I'm sure we'll be hearing all kinds of rumors up until then. Remember to stay tuned to HOWL as we'll have the up-to-date info all Thursday long! Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
David Kahn has reportedly working the phones hard and one offer he made was to the division rival Denver Nuggets. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Wolves offered Brandon Roy and a first round pick (likely the Memphis pick the Wolves own) for big man Timofey Mozgov.
The Nuggets turned down the offer and reportedly have had or have better offers on the table for Mozgov.
Timofey will be a restricted free agent this summer, so the Wolves could sign him outright and Denver will almost certainly not match, that assuming they don't move him to another team before then. According to Darren Wolfson, the Wolves would be very interested in him if he hit free agency this summer.
Does that mean the Wolves aren't interested in bringing back Nikola Pekovic this summer or perhaps (and I hope) they won't be picking up Greg Stiemsma's option for the 2013-14 season.
It sounds as though both David Kahn and Rick Adelman are 'high' on Mozgov and I'm sure fellow Russians Andrei Kirilenko & Alexey Shved put in a good word--the three were all members of the Russian National team this summer.
With Minnesota offering up Brandon Roy it's now certain he won't be playing another game in a TWolves uniform. If his contract isn't move by the Deadline or next summer, his option for the 2013-14 season will not be picked up. Offering up Roy's $5M contract that can be voided next season is a decent trade chip.
If the Wolves are looking to deal during before Thursday's deadline, here's hoping it's for a true shooting guard. And beyond that, here's hoping any trade doesn't disrupt any long-term success with a short-term mindset (thanks to aging owner Glen Taylor and head coach Rick Adelman as well as David Kahn fighting for an extension this summer).
That's all for now, trade or not we'll have plenty of updates going on these next two days! Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
TeamChuck were the underdogs coming into tonight's game, but they quickly put that to rest as they cruised to an easy victory over TeamShaq. Chuck is now 2-0 vs. Shaq in this new Rising Stars Challenge format.
Chuck started Ricky Rubio, Bradley Beal, Kawhi Leonard, Kenneth Faried & Anthony Davis. Shaq had the more 'high-profile' players: Kyrie Irving & Damian Lillard, as well as some VERY good shooters: Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Dion Waiters, Chandler Parsons & Harrison Barnes.
However, it was Chuck's all-around team that combined some very good passers (Rubio, Shved, Thomas), good shooters (Leonard, Beal, Thomas, Knight) and an interior presence (Davis, Faried, Thompson & Vucevic).
TeamChuck was led by Denver's Kenneth Faried. Faried was named the MVP and for very good reason, he finished the night with 40pts, 10reb & 2ast. He played 22 minutes and shot 18-for-22 from the field. He'll also compete on Saturday in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest for the Western Conference and we certainly got some exciting previews of some high-flying jams in his game tonight.
TeamShaq was led by Cleveland's Kyrie Irving (who was also last season's RSC MVP). Irving finished the night with 32pts on 14-for-20 shooting as well as 6reb, 6ast & 1stl in 27 minutes. He'll also play on Sunday in the NBA All-Star game as an Eastern Conference reserve.
The Timberwolves had two players playing in this one and both for Team Chuck. Ricky Rubio started this one and played a total of 16 minutes. He finished the night with 5pts, 10ast & 1stl. He shot 2-for-4 from the field (1-of-3 from deep) and had plenty of highlight reel passes that included plenty of alley-oops! Alexey Shved was the last pick in the 'draft' for this game, but tonight's performance validated not only to Shaq & Chuck that he should have been selected earlier, but to the entire NBA that, "HEY! These two young Wolves can ball!"
Chris Webber was on the broadcast crew for this one and he said himself (multiple times) that both Ricky and (especially) Shved were a lot of fun to watch and that they could actually play! He followed that up with saying that he'll definitely be watching some Minnesota Timberwolves games in the second half of the season...I'm sure he's not the only one.
If you'd like, here is the full box score for tonight's game.
That wraps up All-Star Weekend for your Minnesota Timberwolves, however if I were you I'd definitely check out the four events (Shooting Stars, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest & Slam Dunk Contest) that starts tomorrow at 7:30pmCT and the All-Star Game on Sunday (starts 7pmCT).
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Last year, the Minnesota Timberwolves had three players involved in four events. This season, the Wolves have two players involved in one event.
Last season, Kevin participated and won the Three-Point Contest and was a reserve for the Western Conference All-Star team. Ricky Rubio & Derrick Williams played in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge game. Williams was also a participant of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
This season, Ricky Rubio & Alexey Shved travelled to Houston and will play (on the same team) in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.
Despite not having nearly as many TWolves involved in the All-Star festivities, I'll still be catching the games & events this weekend, if you'd like to, too--here's a list of the big events going on at the Toyota Center these next few days...
Friday, February 15th
6pmCT: All-Star Celebrity Game
8pmCT: Rising Stars Challenge
Saturday, February 16th
2pmCT: D-League All-Star Game
1.) Shooting Stars
2.) Skills Challenge
3.) Three-Point Contest
4.) Slam Dunk Contest
Sunday, February 17th
7pmCT: NBA All-Star Game
I'll definitely be watching the Rising Stars Challenge tonight, the four big events on Saturday and of course, the All-Star Game. Might catch a couple of those other as well...
There are more events going on during All-Star weekend, however those listed above are the premier events of the weekend. If you'd like to check out the full-list of events, you can find that here courtesy of NBA.com.
We'll have a full update on the Rising Stars Challenge game tonight with plenty on Ricky & Shved! Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson aren't going anywhere, the same can't be said for Lou Amundson.
Gelabale and Johnson's second 10-day contracts expired on Wednesday at midnight, thus making them free agents. Unfortunately if the Wolves wanted them both back they'd have to trade or waive one of their players.
That's because the NBA gave the Wolves an exception that allowed them to sign a 16th player (one past the max) to two 10-day contracts. When those expired on Wednesday night, the Wolves had a decision to make.
For most of the past few weeks we've heard rumors that both Mickael & Chris would 'stick' with the Wolves and it was more than likely that the Wolves would waive or trade Lou Amundson.
The most likely trade scenario had the Wolves sending Lou to a team like the Knicks or the 76ers for a highly protected 2nd round pick. They obviously couldn't find any takers and thus had to waive him. I don't doubt he'll get an offer from another team.
Now Mickael & Chris will remain with the Wolves through the remainder of the 2012-13 season. Gelabale is averaging 6.5ppg and 3rpg in 10 games (he's also currently the starting small forward, while AK is out with a strained quad) and Johnson is averaging 9.3ppg & 4rpg in 6 games. Lou played 20 games for the Wolves (almost all 'garbage time') and averaged 1.6ppg & 2.4rpg.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Ricky Rubio and Alexey Shved will both represent #teamChuck in a couple weeks during All-Star Weekend in Houston, at the Toyota Center.
Ricky wasn't initially in the pool of players you could select from, however he was a late 'commissioner's pick' added to the group of 16 first and second year players.
Ricky Rubio was selected 5th to #teamChuck and Alexey Shved was selected 16th (or last overall) also to #teamChuck.
Here are the full rosters for both teams...
Just as there were some exciting alley-oops from Rubio to Blake Griffin, I'm expecting more of the same from Rubio & Shved to Davis & Faried! Hopefully Shved has a great game as he's clearly underrated (being selected after guys like Brandon Knight, Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Zeller, etc).
The game will take place on Friday night at the Toyota Center and will tipoff at 8pmCT. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
A league source has told SheridanHoops.com that "there is a good chance" that Luke Ridnour will be dealt before the Feb. 21st trade deadline.
It comes as no surprise considering the Wolves have Ricky Rubio back in the lineup and continuing to improve each game out. They also have J.J. Barea as the main backup and even Alexey Shved can play some point guard if needed.
Ridnour is currently starting off the ball with Rubio as the point guard. Luke has proved he can be an effective playmaker when tasked with point guard duties, but is an effective scorer when playing off the ball--especially with Rubio running the point. With the Wolves' small starting backcourt, Ridnour has been asked to guard the likes of Wesley Matthews, Joe Johnson, James Harden and even Kobe Bryant. Ridnour has done 'okay' considering, but the Wolves are in desperate need of an upgrade at the two spot.
One team that has rumored interest in Luke are the division-rival Utah Jazz. The Jazz are thin at point guard since Mo Williams has gone down with a thumb injury that's kept him 'out indefinitely' and Earl Watson is currently dealing with a leg injury. That leaves Jamaal Tinsley as the only point guard on the roster, with Alec Burks helping out with some of those duties.
There's no doubt that Ridnour would be an immediate upgrade over Tinsley, but it'll rely heavily on what the Jazz are sending back to Minny. According to the report from SheridanHoops, the Wolves are asking for Alec Burks in return. However, today Darren Wolfson (via Twitter), the Jazz have given assurance to Burks that he's not going to be dealt--at least not for Ridnour.
Other teams that remain in the market for a good point guard: the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and the Portland Trailblazers.
We're exactly two weeks away from the Trade Deadline and I highly doubt that this is the last we hear on Luke Ridnour being dealt. As much as I like Luke, if it nets the Wolves a capable shooting guard that can both defend and knock down open shots...I'm 100% behind a deal.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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